What does settling down mean?

What does the term settling down mean? In scientific term it means to achieve a state of equilibrium. But when it comes to human life that state of equilibrium is associated with the state of our…


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Be Proud of Vomiting

These animals can’t do it — and here’s how we exploit that fact for our gain.

One of my more unpleasant memories comes from a few years back when, on a family vacation, I caught a nasty stomach bug. I spent the better part of a day lying on the bathroom floor in our time-share condo, wrapped in blankets, shivering, and occasionally crawling to the toilet to lose what little remained in my stomach.

In short, vomiting is not a fun activity, and I suspect that just about everyone agrees with me.

Vomiting, however, sticks around because it serves an important purpose. Consider the different parts of our digestive system: the stomach is a holding tank that comes before the small and large intestine, where most of the absorption of nutrients take place. If we were a car, our stomach is the fuel tank, while the intestine is the engine where the real work takes place.

If we eat something dangerous or poisonous, or our brain decides to trigger the vomit reflex, we forcefully expel the contents of our stomach. Although unpleasant, this is a quick way for us to dump the offending material before we absorb it into our bodies.

It’s a useful skill, and one we should be proud of recognizing. Not everyone can do it.

There are a whole host of situations that can trigger vomiting, including:

When we vomit, our diaphragm, the muscle that runs horizontally across our torso and pulls down to inflate our lungs, will contract. Then, our abdominal muscles contract, slamming pressure onto our stomach and upper abdominal system.

The result? The contents of our stomach, and often our upper small intestine, get pushed upwards and outwards…

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